Leafs Not “Heavy” Enough

TORONTO (Apr. 5) — By this time next week, Toronto hockey fans will be watching their favorite team in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in four years… and the first time in 13 years after a full,… Read More

Babcock Angle Overplayed

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — I begin this blog with somewhat of a contradiction: Though I believe Mike Babcock should be among the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year, I do not believe he is the… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… Read More

Marner No Surprise Here

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, there’s little doubt that Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets would be the winner with a league–best 12 goals in 19 games. But, Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs… Read More

Leafs Will Learn — Eventually

TORONTO (Nov. 1) — It will be a tell–tale sign that the young Maple Leafs are maturing when the club approaches a double–header like this past weekend with more of a competitive edge and less satisfaction. Though it yielded zero… Read More

Early Leafs Observations

TORONTO (Oct. 21) — Nine days ago, hours before the 2016–17 National Hockey League season, I wrote a blog in this corner entitled LEAFS WILL SIZZLE… THEN FIZZLE. It was my contention that the young, talented and energetic team assembled… Read More

Leafs Will Sizzle… Then Fizzle

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — Six months and three days after last watching the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that counted, a new season begins with curiosity and bridled excitement. A 5–1 defeat at New Jersey on Apr. 9 enabled… Read More

Kessel Was Full Value, But…

TORONTO (June 14) — Fans of the Maple Leafs should not begrudge Phil Kessel for raising the Stanley Cup. Kessel was hardly a passenger in the 2016 playoffs, leading Pittsburgh in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. It proved… Read More

Shanahan Continues To Impress

TORONTO (Jan. 22) — Some years from now, the Brendan Shanahan regime will be distinguished by its pursuit of the Stanley Cup. In the interim — and if you’re inclined to gamble — plunk down a few pesos on the… Read More

Debunking My Own Myth

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 26) — Perhaps I’ve been caught drinking the Kool Aid. Though it is mid–summer, and thirst can become pervasive, I’ve normally strayed from gulping blue–and–white beverage. But, maybe not this time. In my Friday blog,… Read More

Leafs Motor Along As Usual

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 24) — If you believe that success or failure begins at the top of any company or enterprise, the Toronto Maple Leafs will end the longest Stanley Cup drought at some point in the foreseeable… Read More

Leafs Still Bucking Convention

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 26) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have promised to become traditional with respect to building a Stanley Cup–caliber team. No more quick fixes. No more first–rounders traded. But, there is still much about the Maple… Read More

Leafs Working Hard on Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 23) — I was in that wonderful, relaxing crossroad between lucidity and full slumber when my damned BlackBerry roared to life at three minutes past midnight this a.m. Snapping awake and momentarily pissed off, I… Read More

Leafs Options May Be Limited

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 13) — In their quest to sell off as many “assets” as possible, the Toronto Maple Leafs will discover that the rest of the National Hockey League was paying attention to their plight last season.… Read More

Why Would Leafs Trade No. 4 Pick?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 8) — This is uncertain territory, Leafs Nation. Though it required minimal effort, your favorite hockey club went through a tanking exercise last season to obtain prime real estate in a bountiful draft — one… Read More

Leafs Need Hunter in Current Role

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 24) — Now that Mike Babcock will not be named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (confirmed) — and has told the hockey universe there is no provision in his contract with respect to… Read More

Babcock Wants “Immediate Gratification”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 16) — It pales in comparison to an interview Darren Dreger could be conducting one year from now if Steven Stamkos hasn’t inked a contract extension with Tampa Bay. For the moment, however, there is… Read More

Would Leafs Give Babcock Control?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 12) — In the National Football League, it’s called “Black Monday” — 24 hours after the final regular–season games in early–January when lousy teams jettison managers and coaching staffs. “Black Sunday” has occurred here in… Read More
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